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I guess non-violence applies to everyone but them??
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A protest near the site of the Republican National Convention gave way to violence Monday as demonstrators attacked members of the Connecticut delegation, smashed windows, slashed car tires and threw bottles during an anti-war march, St. Paul police said.
Five people were accused of setting fire to a trash bin and pushing it into a police car, St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh said.
The violent demonstrators were mostly dressed in black and described themselves as anarchists. Most of the violence occurred in pockets of a neighborhood near downtown, several blocks from the Xcel Energy Center, where the convention was taking place. At the request of police, 150 Minnesota National Guard soldiers helped control splinter groups near downtown long after anti-war marchers had dispersed.
Protesters attacked members of the Connecticut delegation when they got off their buses near Xcel Center, delegates told FOX News.com and a local TV station.
A group of protesters came toward the delegation and tried to rip the credentials off their necks and sprayed them with a toxic substance that burned their eyes and stained their clothes, delegate Rob Simmons told KMSP-TV.
Joe Honan, one of the Castle's two correspondents on the ground in Iraq, is a sailor from JFCOM attached to the Marines in Ramadi:
Him: “Can we leave now?”That's from a 16 August post at Argghhh.
Me: “No sir, the flight isn’t going to leave until later tonight. We need to bus you all to the landing zone after dinner.”
Him: “Well, can you just let us out at the gate? We’ll find our own way back.”
Me: “…..O.K…. how many of you Sunni leaders want to get left in the middle of Baghdad to find you’re way to Ramadi instead of flying with an armed escort?”
Him: “Oh we’ll all go and rent a couple of cars.”
Me turning to Gunny: “You know, I think this war is officially over.”
Buck today: "In case you needed any more on-the-ground evidence, the war as we knew it is over. Finished. Kaput. Yes, pockets of enemy activity still persist, but their cells are so fractured and hounded daily by us and the newly confident Iraqi Security Forces that these rogue elements are in full-on survival mode. We have resoundly kicked their tails and they know it."
Me last year:
As I said, we've won.At a glance, you might think I'm trying to claim you aren't saying anything new - but that's not the case. I said a year ago that we'd won - but I also have repeated since then that "we've won" doesn't mean the same thing as "it's over." You guys are starting to convince me that it's indeed over.
Yes, they could pull off a "Tet". Hell, they could manage something like their own version of the battle of the bulge, but the reality is they're whipped.
They brought ass, we kicked it.
We all know we haven't conquered death or even hatred or murder in Iraq. And terrorism will continue there and elsewhere, too. I mention this only because I know there are folks who mistakenly believe that sort of bright eyed, idealistic goal could be held or even supported by those of us who've been there, and they generally demand we defend that position. (These same folks refer to 13 year old female suicide bombers as "recruited" - or part of "a disturbing trend of female suicide bombers unable to cope with the violent loss of husbands, fathers, brothers" etc.)
Now that we're past that requisite disclaimer - the thing that kept me from saying "it's over" is simply the knowledge that the Iraqi security forces remained essentially untested. We Americans had demonstrated our ability and resolve to the point that the average Iraqi believed it - or at least knew they had something to gain from working with us - in spite of opposition in Iraq and America. But our Iraqi partners in uniform hadn't yet done the same. I don't fault them for this - too much had been expected of them by too many too soon. In spite of events in Basra, Diyala, Maysan, and Mosul this year I don't know if they're there yet. In fact, I know they aren't. (If nothing else, logistically.)
But I'm willing to accept that they are past a tipping point by which you guys (in Iraq) are willing to say "it's over" in much the same way we were far enough past one last year that I could confidently say "we've won."
Just back to Al Qaeda a little bit. Why so shy about declaring victory over them, if they're in such bad shape?And he's General Petraeus - and his opinion matters. And while I think it's unfortunate that it's true, he's right to be concerned about being accused of "spinning". Still, overall, I believe he's completely sincere in what he's saying otherwise regarding his reluctance to declare "victory". Generals will always be the last ones to acknowledge the war is over, and the losing General (when there is one) usually gets to go first. This particular war is more complex because there is no opposing General.
Well, first of all we truly think it would be premature, honestly. And then I think there still is a very lethal and very deadly and very barbaric enemy out there. Again, sufficiently barbaric to strap [explosive] vests onto women.
Which in a way is a sign of their weakness, too. They can't find enough men to do it.
Well, yeah, you can interpret it that way. We'll let you do that. And again, honestly, [U.S.] Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker and I explicitly, from day one, together, said that we have got to be coldly realistic and as absolutely objective as we possibly can and not let our enthusiasms or perhaps normal optimism creep into our assessments, frankly. And so we've been very, very careful to ensure that what we say is as absolutely credible as we can make it, and also not open up the assessments to charges of spinning.
But now, please allow me to fuel the fires burning in the hearts of conspiracy theorists everywhere by sharing something I don't believe...
Generals don't like to declare wars over because once the war is over you can't lead troops at war. Leading troops at war is much better for your career progression than "just" leading troops. This is what General Petraeus meant when he said (link above):
In so many ways, it sounds like Al Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated, but the U.S. military is reluctant to say so.Smart leaders know a direct order when they hear (or read) one, eh? And how unfortunate that guys like me, Buck, and Honan are now exposed as non-leaders. Together we weep.
You won't find a single military leader in this theater who will say that.
Want more evidence of coverup? Buck said (emphasis added) "I haven't done any blogging of note this time around (Big Army is frowning upon it more so now than in the past)".
That's because milbloggers can say what the Generals won't!!!!!
Clearly the time has come for those opposed to our presence in Iraq to demand that the Generals quit covering up our victory. (Bear with me - the "loyal opposition" sincerely want us out of Iraq at whatever cost, so they won't have a problem with declaring victory to do it.) Let's get the troops out of there and into Afghanistan right now.
Then, at long last, these folks who've been calling people who support the war in Iraq without fighting it "chickenhawks" and who've been demanding a focus on Afghanistan - a war they "support" - will at long last be able to enlist in the US Military and join the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Thank you. Write your congressman.
Excellent news, to be sure. And even though hurricanes have dominated the weather news here in America I think we should acknowledge the end of the longest dust storm in history.
in all the other news of the day... Given our family's intimate familiarity with the formerly violent area, this is so worth noting:
September 01, 2008 Agence France-Presse
Iraqi forces today took over control of Anbar, once the most explosive battlefields in Iraq, from the U.S. military, symbolising the growing security gains in the war-torn country.
The ceremony to transfer Anbar to local forces took place at the provincial governate building in Ramadi, the provincial capital.
It marks the handover of the 11th of Iraq's 18 provinces and the first Sunni province to be returned to the control of the Iraqi government.
"I would like to announce that the (Anbar) transfer from the U.S. to Iraqi forces is done," said Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security advisor at the handover ceremony.
"The province of Anbar which was one of the hottest regions in Iraq is today celebrating the receiving of the security file."
and from CNN's story (which you have to hunt for on their site):
More than 25,000 U.S. troops serve in the sprawling Anbar province west of Baghdad; most of them Marines. They will remain for the time being but will shift their mission to supporting Iraqi forces, when needed.
Anbar is the 11th of Iraq's 18 provinces to revert to local security control, but is the first Sunni-dominated one.
The move comes amid a big drop in violence in Iraq and calls from Iraqis for the United States to come up with a troop withdrawal timetable.
The other provinces that have transitioned to Iraqi security control are Duhuk, Irbil and Sulaimaniya in the Kurdish region, and Karbala, Najaf, Qadisiya, Muthanna, Thiqar, Basra, and Maysan in the Shiite south.
More of the story here
and the 100 word AP "story" here (after all it is good news and proof the Surge worked, so why make a big deal of it??)
Full Disclosure: My Alaska born and bred better half -- full-time mom, hibernating wife, and part-time actress -- bears an uncanny resemblance to the Governess in question (albeit, much younger), and performed as such several times last year during her headlining stint with the locally famous Mr. Whitekeys and his now-defunct Fly By Night Club. She even played a gig as Gov. Palin at the governor's own inaugural ball. So, a potential sixteen more years of Sarahcuda in the national spotlight could indeed be gravy for the Sargent family pocketbook.
So yes, I have my biases. But unlike the MSM, at least I admit them!
*Update: As we speak, Mr. Whitekeys already has a possible deal in the works to fly my wife back up to Anchorage on short notice to reprise her role.
"Sarah Palin" walks like an Egyptian
In a week's time I go on midtour leave and will be home for the first time in 6 months. I sure miss these three: View image
"Hi Dad!" "Hello, young man. So nice to meet you."
Remember that word? Personally, I've never been a fan of that illogical political slur (so was Abraham Lincoln the Col. Sanders of chickenhawking?), but apparently the word itself should come with an implied (R.) attached to it:
With all the talk of Slow Joe joining the Senate at age 30 back in 1972 (older than I am now), I had been wondering what he was up to when both he and the war were in their prime. Heck, at least President Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard. I suppose Shmoe Joe was just biden his time.
Hey, wasn't he also the guy who wanted to break up Iraq into three sectarian parts, thus guaranteeing a Bosnian-type civil war? Bah, who cares. The man rides Amtrak home every night, by God! As Dan Blather would say: Courage.
(Yes, I'm monopolizing the board today, deal with it. I only have so much free time to work with here).
So I came back from patrol the other day to hear the news that Sen. McCain had picked none other than my former governor as his running mate. I can attest from my recent years stationed in Alaska that Sarah Palin is the REAL DEAL. She's no token woman, my friends. (Oh God, now McCain's even got me talking like him.) I say this not only as a soldier but as a bedrock conservative. If one were to create the model conservative out of doll parts and voodoo circuitry a la Weird Science, who you'd end up with is "Sarah Barracuda." When it comes to conservative bona fides, she is TR, Give Em Hell Harry, and the Gipper all rolled into one, but in a skirt, and thankfully with much better legs. If real citizen-servants like her are not the future of the GOP, then it will have no future. She is the anti-Ted, both Stevens AND Kennedy.
Trust me, as the rest of you begin to learn what Alaskans already know and love about her, the more you're going to feel like a girlie man for not being like her. "Damn, I'm not a Life Member of the NRA. I don't run 7-10 miles per day. I've never even gone snowmachining. I suck." (Yes, they call them "snowmachines" up there, not "snowmobiles." Don't even get me started on that one.)
However, like many, I've been lukewarm (no, more like room temperature) on John McCain since he became the Republican frontrunner, but I will now proudly (and quite soberly, I might add) cast my vote in his corner this November. Despite all his stubbornness and propensity to drive his base crazy, John McCain has proved that when the chips are down he is always capable of evening the score with a bottom of the ninth home run. He proved this on Iraq with his lonely support of the Surge, he proved it when he resurrected his primary campaign from the dead, he proved it with his performance at Saddleback (which, surprisingly, knocked my boot socks off), and now he has proved it yet again with this magnificent Veep selection. You'd think that his time in Hanoi would have already convinced us, but I think it's safe to say that this man doesn't know the meaning of the word quit.
Politics/schmalitics. That's a man I'll charge off into battle for.
Buck/His Dog 2032
I'm at roughly the halfway point in my latest Iraq tour, and though I haven't done any blogging of note this time around (Big Army is frowning upon it more so now than in the past), I thought I at least owed y'all an update. Of course, "nobody" reads this site, so I should be good to go, right?
In case you needed any more on-the-ground evidence, the war as we knew it is over. Finished. Kaput. Yes, pockets of enemy activity still persist, but their cells are so fractured and hounded daily by us and the newly confident Iraqi Security Forces that these rogue elements are in full-on survival mode. We have resoundly kicked their tails and they know it.
I've always maintained that the Iraqis themselves will tell us when it's safe for us to talk about finally withdrawing, and now that is actually happening. I find the bandied about timetables by the Iraqi Prime Minister eminently reasonable and workable. If this is my last Iraq tour in uniform, I for one will not be upset. Especially now that it's clear we won't be leaving a Rwanda-dwarfing mess in our wake. I can now think about returning to this historic land as a tourist with my son in tow perhaps twenty years from now, and when he looks around and asks me what we did here, I can state with pride, "son, we helped make all that you see here possible."
That alone, is what victory and returning with honor means to me.
Baghdad, September 2008
Nimitz wrote: "In the light of hindsight it is easy to see how any of several measures might have prevented this catastrophe, but it was far less easy a problem at the time for the men who were out there under the heaviest of conflicting responsibilities. The important thing is for it never to happen again..."
Out of a lot of heroism, some stands out - as set out here.